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Stackyard News Mar 08

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Yorkshire Dairy Farm Walk: Milking Grass for Profit

Dairy farmers can find out how to make more from forage by attending a Milking Grass for Profit farm walk on Tuesday 18 March at Thornhill Hall Farm, Thornhill, Dewsbury organised by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, British Grassland Society and Milk Development Council.



Host farmer, Tom Rawson who manages a 250 cow herd plus followers with his wife, Catherine and parents, Gary and Linda, will discuss how his detailed attention to grassland management is helping him to take 60% of yield from forage.

In addition to grassland management, nutrition, herd health and genetics, several other timely topics will be up for discussion. They will the include a 10 month extended grazing policy which saves £8,000 in February alone, the benefits of spring and autumn calving blocks, reseeding using red and white clovers, low cost calf rearing systems and the benefits of contracting an East European workforce.

The day will commence at 10.30am with an introduction from RABDF, followed by a short technical presentation on MDC’s Grass+ Improvement Programme, a soil assessment by Kingshay Farming Trust and a discussion on the benefits of using clover from the Grassland Development Centre (IGER).

Tom Rawson will lead the guided farm walk followed by lunch and an opportunity for visitors to discuss their business with local suppliers and event supporters.

“Attending this farm walk will be time well invested whether you are managing a 10,000 litre herd or a lower output system,” says RABDF’s chief executive, Nick Everington. “Despite higher milk prices, farmers are still struggling to cover their production costs, in particular fertiliser which has soared by 50% in the last nine months. This event will provide all visitors with the opportunity to rethink their systems and improve their efficiency. Grazed grass continues to remain the cheapest form of forage, therefore if they start to optimise its management from turnout, then they should be well placed to maximise its potential throughout the season and subsequently have the opportunity to reduce input costs.”

For further information or to book a place on the farm walk and reserve a place for lunch please contact the RABDF on 0845 458 2711.

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